Book Review: Son of No One by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Posted January 21, 2015 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 15 Comments

Book Review: Son of No One by Sherrilyn Kenyon

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Son of No One by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: , , , ,
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Published by St. Martin's Press on September 2, 2014
Pages: 432
Format: Hardcover
Source: the library


It’s not easy being life’s own personal joke, but Josette Landry has made an unstable peace with the beast. Life will continue to throw every bad thing it has at her, and she will continue to not put her head in an oven. But that’s okay. That which doesn’t kill her will just require a few hours of mental insanity. Completely down on her luck, Josette takes a job with a local paranormal group trying to get their own cable show as a photographer and camerawoman. Yeah, they’re even crazier than she is. The only paranormal thing she believes in is the miracle that keeps her rusted out hoopty running. But when her group accidentally releases something truly evil into the world, they are forced to call in reinforcement.

From the moment Josette meets Cadegan, she knows something about him isn’t quite right. And it’s not just because she can’t even begin to pronounce his last name: Maboddimun. Mysterious and armed with lethal sarcasm, he seems a lot older than his apparent age…

Centuries ago, Cadegan sold his soul for vengeance against the betrayer who cursed him. Forced against his will to do good, he hates everything in life. All he wants is a way out. But for the damned there is only eternal suffering. And yet there is something about Josette that intrigues him as much as it irritates and frustrates him. Something he can’t seem to fight, and the last time he felt this way about a woman, it cost him his soul.

He knows he has to stay away from her, but the evil her friends unleashed is hellbent on consuming her soul. Something he cannot allow. If one more innocent is taken, he will be sent back to an unimaginable prison that makes his current hell look like paradise. But how can he keep her safe when his being with her is the greatest threat of all?

Also by this author: Dragonbane, Born of Vengeance, Deadmen Walking, Stygian

I hardly know where to start as to the series that Son of No One is in. It is a paranormal romance in her Dark-Hunterverse — #29, and the couple focus is on Jo Landry and Cadegan.

After that, it’s also:
#13 in Dark-Hunter
#6 in Hellchaser
#3 in Lords of Avalon
#8 in Were-Hunter

My Take

The best I can say of Son of No One is that it is a part of a lot of different series, and it has a great cover. Other than that, it’s a mess of tiny episodes that were strung together in comic opera fashion with a very young adult tone.

The story begins centuries ago in 1045 England and continues in the fall of 2014 and starts well enough. There’s that slightly off-beat, fun mood that always makes me think “Kenyon” that starts with Jo ragging with Selena and continues with Jo’s fall into the mirror world. I did like Jo’s attitude, lol. It seems that Cadegan liked it as well. Yeah, there’s some insta-love here, but at least Cadegan has a good reason. It’s not even really love at first, but more of a thank-god-for-some-rational-and-mmmm-soft-skinned-company.

I am confused about Cadegan. He’s a nice guy with every right to be angry, but amazingly clueless. He doesn’t know much about the creatures in the land he’s been trapped in for 1,000 years. Hullo. How can you possibly go for this long and not learn more? Gwyn talks about Cadegan being so cagey and skilled. Maybe when it comes to flailing a sword around.

As for Leucious, the least he could have done was hear his brother out.

Jo is amazingly clueless as well about the dangers of mirror world, even when she’s exposed to it. I do love that she is so artless, but it does go too far.

This whole bargain business with Gwyn put me off. Sure, it’s a great way to let us know how untrustworthy Gwyn is, but it goes against all the “legends” I’ve read about the fae. Isn’t there some kind of penalty if you break the bargain? Wouldn’t constantly changing the terms of the bargain be a breaking?? I always thought the fey were supposed to adhere to a bargain. I suppose it does help reinforce Gwyn’s character. But wouldn’t Cadegan have a good idea on how to bargain with the Fae by now? He’s as clueless as a newborn babe. Hmmm, Gwyn will cede the bullocks of any offender to Cadegan. D’ya suppose Kenyon meant buttocks or ballocks?

I think it’s at this point that it started to feel like a comic opera. As if Kenyon were sitting around the kitchen table and friends were chiming in with another awful clause for the bargain. It only gets worse when we go through the mutual I love him routine that the other refuses to believe. Yawn. Then there’s the body-swapping. WTF? What? Why? Then there’s Illarion. I like Illarion, but it was way too easy for that little adventure. Talfryn and Ioan add their clownish antics which simply contributes to the effect. Was Kenyon trying to hit all the lame tropes? To include every possible pantheon in the story?

That “illumination” about the dragons and their virgins is an interesting interpretation while the therapy horror was too funny.

In spite of the comic opera qualities of Son of No One, you can’t help but want to cry for Cadegan. He’s been hard done by his entire life. Not as badly as Ash or Styxx, but bad enough. The way Æthla used and destroyed him will break your heart, especially when Cadegan has done so much for her. Then Leucious’ betrayal. Jesus. He’ll listen to that little breeder but not his brother.

“No pressure there, right, buddy? Wow, Ash. I know why you don’t have your own self-help show…Lifestyles of the Morbid and Terrifying. Stay tuned, folks. This week we learn how to end the world with a flourish and get rid of those pesky dog flea problems, all in ten minutes.”

Okay. How would attacking a creature encourage that creature to help them? Another contradiction is that comment about “You protect each other, without a single word. Does this mean you don’t care for one another?” Huh??

Ooh, I want an Electra!

Interesting side bit on why Savitar has isolated himself.

And it ends with lots of portents of doom, thus guaranteeing the ongoing misery of all the friends within the Dark-Hunterverse.

The Story

It just doesn’t pay to be responsible. Not for Jo. She’s about to lose her home, and she’s already lost her jobs. Nothing else would make her desperate enough to accept this job with Selena’s friends! Even if it is to film the stories about paranormal possession.

The Characters

Josette “Jo” (& Jo-Jo) Landry has always toed the line and look where that’s gotten her! Henri, Belle, and Maisel are her babies. Dogs that have to suffer her baby talk. Gag. Barry Riggio is Jo’s ex, the jerk.

Selena Laurens is Jo’s cousin; Bill is her corporate lawyer husband. Tabitha and Karma Devereaux are two of Selena’s eight sisters; Ian is Karma’s son whom she’s nicknamed “E.T.” Rug is Ian’s hamster. Karma’s job is warehousing and cleaning scary relics and paranormal items; she’s inherited custody of Valac from her sister, the now-deceased Tiyana. Aunt Rocky is Selena’s mother. Aunt Xilla is another of the nutjobs in the family. Aunt Kalila helped run the family Voodoo store, Erzulie’s, which Tabitha now owns. Tabitha is married to Valerius, a Roman general. Aunt Ana and Tiyana made soaps and oils for Erzulie’s. Aunt Paulina will never let Jo work behind her counters again. Aunt Marie lives for genealogy. Cousin Amanda is Tabitha’s twin, and Amanda is married to Kyrian, an ancient Greek general. Cousin Essie was the midwife for the birth.

Mama Lisa is the leader of the group putting together a new cable television channel. She’s an exorcist and hosts the Voices Carry Internet radio show. The rest of Mama Lisa’s posse includes Sister Jordan, her sister Sarah, Mistress Mercy, and Selena.

Cadegan Maboddimun is half-demon and half-fae/goddess-born, a waremerlin who guards the Shield of Dagda and has been imprisoned for over 1,000 years. His mother is Brigid, the daughter of the Dagda and the Mórrígan, which means Cadegan is their grandson, is a fey goddess whom Morgen turned to stone and now adorns Morgen’s garden.

Leucious is his brother, a.k.a., Thorn, a.k.a., Forneus, whom we’ve met in other stories. Misery is one of Leucious’ breeders (whatever that is). Josiah was Thorn’s driver. Paimon is the demon overlord Cadegan believes is his father.

Dr. Troy Parthenopacus is married to Acheron (Ash); she and Dr. Julian Alexander are also specialists in Babylonian artifacts. Simi is Ash’s Charonte demon who lives on his skin like a live tattoo. Kat is Ash’s daughter.

The rescue posse includes:
Fang who works as a Hellchaser for Thorn and is married to Aimee, a werebear; Cael; Amaranda; Zeke Jacobson, a Necrodemian, who does Pest Control; Ravenna; Tristan; and, anyone else skilled with swords and Dark Age tactics with the powers of demon, Daimon, or fey. Talon is an ancient Celt of the Morrigantes married to Sunshine, who is herself a granddaughter of the Dagda and the Mórrígan. Her mother is Starla, a member of the Tuath Dé, which makes Cadegan family. Styxx is Ash’s brother and married to Bethany, the Atlantean goddess of woe. Urian is Styxx’s oldest son; Ari seems to be his youngest. Dr. Grace Alexander will be Cadegan’s therapist; she’s married to Julian.

Mirror world is…
Glastonbury Tor, Terre Derrière le Voile, an alternate plane of existence whose grayness is said to be due to Merlin’s magick being pulled in; it’s a land where demons can be imprisoned and the fey rule. MODs are Minions of Death who would give anything to bite down on a human. Cadegan’s Uncle Bracken is one of them. Brenin Gwn ap Nudd is the very untrustworthy shadow king, a sharoc. Talfryn and Ioan, alias Frick and Frack, are Adar Llwch Gwin, shapeshifting gryphons who will fly riders to their destination. Illarion is the last real dragon, a Katagari Drakos. Edilyn was his human wife. Maxis is Illarion’s brother. Morgen Le Fey is a queen here. Queen Cordelia needs to make her appearance. Seems she’s Gwyn’s wife some parts of the year and belongs to Gwythyr ap Greidawl the other parts. Ademar was one of the knights of Camelot who refused Cadegan aid. Emrys Penmerlin is Camelot’s ruler and the warlock we know as Merlin.

Cymara Clas, the monastery in A.D. 720
Brother Eurig was Cadegan’s mentor in many things including honor and keeping one’s word. Brother Owain had a gambling problem he was too comfortable in lying about. If the monastery was cloistered, how did Owain have the opportunity to gamble? Father Bryce was the abbot. King Elisedd ap Gwylog was the Powys king who dragged Cadegan from the monastery. Æthelbald was the Mercian king battling Elisedd.

Æthla was the woman Cadegan saved along with her family. How did her brothers not know what their father was demanding? What she had been doing with Cadegan all this time?

Graylings are fey creatures who ran afoul of Morgen and were cursed into these twisted forms. Sharoc are shadow fey. Dragon. Mandrakes are fey-born shapeshifters who can take the form of a man or a dragon. The addanc is a demonkyn’s true form, a soulless, bloodthirsty beast. Katateros is a realm where Kat, Ash, Styxx and Bethany, and now Cadegan and Jo will live.

Kessar is a Sumerian gallu demon to whom the Smaragdine Tablet is precious. The Scythian Guard is a race of Drakaina, female dragons, a sister tribe to the Amazons. Echidna is their queen, the mother of all monsters, the fiercest of the Titans.

Valac is one of the oldest, deadliest beings in the universe and should never be loose. He was supposed to be in Karma’s custody. Jared is the Sephiroth.

Cal is the owner of the haunted Gardette-lePretre Mansion on Dauphine.

Artemis is the Greek goddess of the moon and the hunt. And she’s not the Artemis Kenyon has taught us to know.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a deep, dark chocolate background and all the gold on it is raised from the author’s name to the title to the raging dragon to the outline of the hexagon that the dragon is imposed upon. Emerging from the shape are orange flames.

The title is all about Cadegan, for he is the Son of No One.

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15 responses to “Book Review: Son of No One by Sherrilyn Kenyon

  1. Oh no, Stormi!! I am behind in this series, but it’s one of the series that really got me started on my big love story with fantasy/mythology/paranormal romance. This does sound like a hot mess, though, and that’s really making me sad 🙁
    I now I’ll read it one day myself, but one star? Why? (not you – I get all your reasons, Stormi)
    Have a wonderful Wednesday and happy reading, my friend.

    • Stormi

      Lexxie, it was Kathy that reviewed this one not me. 🙂 I have never read this series, but it sounds like it was an epic fail. 🙁

    • Hi Lexxie, It could well be that maybe I was having a bad day (don’t really think so) or it could be that I wasn’t expecting a lot from Kenyon because the last 4 or 5 books she’s written haven’t been very good so I was set to be hypercritical (possible). She had good ideas, but they felt cobbled together. I think she’s trying a new approach to her series(es!) *grin* with all the criticism she’s been getting about it being same-same. ‘Cause this one was so not same-same.

  2. Ouch! I fan of this series, Acheron and Stixx are among my top 25 favorite books, but I haven’t read/listned to all of them. Looks like I need to skip this one 🙂
    Thanks for your honest thoughts.

  3. Noel Simpson

    Actually it’s the 38th book in the whole series if you included ALL the anthologies. Personally I loved this story. Only issue I had was trying to pronounce some of the Welsh words and names. This is my 3rd time going through the whole series, minus the last two books that were released. I’m actually on Son of No One now. But if you want the full list for anyone interested (yes read them in order because it’ll make more sense)
    Only thins with this list is the fact that Deadman Walking should be the last book, not Battleborn. That won’t be released until next year. Also read the Chronicles of Nick series, what is mentioned at the end of Styxx is because of what Nick is doing in the CON series. Can’t wait for the next one with that too. Also I’m still dying to know Savitar’s story. Finally getting Urian’s next year though. Oh Jaden and Jared’s stories too. Hell so many character mentions throughout the series that we don’t know much about. In the end….AWESOME series. There’s so many stories and it’s worth reading.

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